By Dayo Johnson
Akure—PROTEST, weekend, greeted the killing of a 64-year-old farmer, Linus Ogbee, in Ilion Camp, Igbatoro in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State by herdsmen.
Farmers and residents from the over 200 villages and camps in the area trooped to the streets to condemn the murder of the father of seven on his farm by herdsmen.
The deceased was said to have gone to the farm on the ill-fated day and when he did not return home as promised, his family members went in search of him only to discover his lifeless body in the bush, riddled with gunshots.
Vanguard gathered that the camp was a few distance to the farm of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, which the herdsmen also invaded last week.
During the invasion of Chief Falae’s farm, the herdsmen reportedly engaged in a gun battle with policemen deployed to the farm to dislodge them and in the process many cows were killed.
Reports had it that the herdsmen stormed the villages in search of their cows and in the process shot the farmer they met in the farm.
Speaking to newsmen, the traditional ruler of Igbatoro, Oba Adanri Akinsehinde, who confirmed the death of the farmer, said fear had gripped the people of the community as the herdsmen are still around and preventing them from accessing their farmlands.
He appealed to the security operatives to help flush out the herdsmen, who have prevented the people from going to farms, which have equally been destroyed.
The Baale of Ileyo community, Chief Taiwo Ogunleye, said the “mere sighting of the herdsmen in the farm had created fears in the heart of the people of the community, who have remained indoors since the incident occurred.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the non-indigenes in the community, Vincent Adoyi, said 90 percent of the people in the affected community are Agatus and Ebiras and called for protection.
Adoyi appealed to the governors of Ebonyi, Enugu and Benue states to enter into talks with their counterpart in Ondo State on the harassment by herdsmen in the community.
He said: “This is June; we do not have much maize. The cassava is not there and other food crops that we used to grow are not there because we were scared off our farms.
“Herdsmen drove some of us away from Benue and Plateau states and now that we are here, the herdsmen have come again. This is disturbing and should be of concern to the government.”
Meanwhile, the state police spokesman, Femi Joseph, confirmed the death of the farmer, adding that autopsy and investigations would reveal the actual cause of the man’s death.